I thought this quote was interesting: "Lunardi went on to say that psychologists and doctors say people who go faster drive better and are more careful..."
As a speeding motorcyclist of course I believe this is true. But, I dunno, is it really an argument for raising speed limits? When people who are only comfortable at slower speeds get swept up in a 93mph+ traffic flow, will they really drive better?
Difference is, in Italy, as in most of western Europe, nobody gets his/her license from a box of cracker jacks. I doubt that there are many Italian drivers/riders who are not already comfortable at 150k/h.
As much as it would benefit me personally, it would scare the crap out of me to have US limits at 90+ mph. I can just see a recent Drivers Ed graduate cruising at 95 in a clapped out pickup, jacked up 6" with worn shocks and tires, while talking to his friends on his cell phone! Oh wait, around here, I see that all the time anyway. Never mind.
In a related story, South Carolina has recently inked a deal to provide a new series of border-posted speed traps along every road larger than one lane that crosses from Italy into both Germany and France. Both countries, at the recommendation of the SC State Patrol Colonel, will be reducing their national speed limits to 13kph.
Said French President Jaques Shirac, "Haw, haw, haw, we French usually face west so we can thumb our pointy little noses at the abnormally hygenic Americans pigdogs (and because when facing west, we can more easily take it up the rear from Germany). But today, we are pleased to announce a free box of doughnut shaped croisants flavored with possum and deer for our new Carolinian brothers-in-arms. Vive la *******!"
In a more coherent press release, German chancellor Gerhardt Schoeder noted that in addition to south Carolinian State Patrolmen, state magistrates will also be imported. "Ve need ze money, ya. So everyone comink from Italy will going 80kph above the speed limit. Ze fines will be huge, ya."
I now live in a state not typically associated with redneckness (California) but I'd put the ******** around here up against those in Texas any day! I am not knocking it -- that is part of the reason I moved here.
County I live in has less than 2 people per square mile and horses outnumber cars. One of the big riding hazards is shoulder-to-shoulder fresh green cow$hit in a blind corner. Or a couple hundred Black Angus being herded by cowboys on horseback. You quickly learn to leave a bit more in reserve!
Anybody have any good suggestions on how to remove baked-on cow$hit from between the cooling fins? Something to be said for full fairings!
Is it still legal to have an open bottle in the car in Texas? I know it used to be.
Very funny post. Just one question. Just where along the Italian-German border will these speed traps be placed? Last I was there, Switzerland and Austria were sorta in the way!
Wouldn't surprise me to see some local Swiss villages do just that though. Fed and Canton police are pretty reasonable (or they were when I lived there 7 years ago) but some of the villages were really sneaky with the photoradar. Hide the cameras just inside the speedlimit signs. At least they didn't get reported to your insurance company.
The last time I was in Italy I didn't notice they had speed limits. At least no one tried to stop me, and i was moving faster than the new limit. Unfortunately, i don't think those limits would work here. Imagine the soccer moms in their SUV's making a dedicated run to Starbucks for a caffeine fix.
I have to say, I certainly would not feel safe knowing that all the 16 year-old, phone gabbin'young ladies in their brand new Mustangs (courtesy of Daddy) and timid, self righteous, couldn't-think-ahead-if-their-Expedition-depended-on-it woman drivers were allowed to go THAT fast. Most of them don't have the attitude or aptitude to drive anything bigger or more powerful than a Civic anyway.
I think there should be a 90-100mph speed limit, sure, but it should only apply to fuel-efficient motorcycles ridden by individuals who actually think about whats going on up ahead, realizing that they'll be there in a few seconds.
The fact is, the majority of motorcyclists are way more focused on what they're doing, and what other drivers are doing. Not only does riding lend itself to more focused, attentive behavior, but motorcycles are really the only practical way of doing 90-100 mph for long distances because most cars and trucks would guzzle fuel terribly.
So how about it? 70 for anything with four wheels, and 100 for bikes? Operator discretion would have to used as far as how fast you can run your bike for extended periods(no 82 GS650s doing 100 for 50 miles straight), but it would present bikes as a much faster, and still cheaper way to commute, or get just about anywhere by freeway.
I like it! I certainly think it's quite feasible. It's true that on a bike you can't help BUT think ahead and concentrate, if for no other reason that you can easily picture yourself tumbilng on the pavement at 85 mph if you get distracted. Today on the last leg of my commute home, I am doing about 80 on the freeway and passing cars doing about 75 and for a stretch every single driver had a cell phone on. It makes you want to scream!
I know the Austrians already do just that. Last time I went over the Brenner pass, I decided to take surface roads to avoid the tolls. Bad decision. Got busted big time by the local Polizei. Gee, they only had motorcyclists pulled over, who'd have thought?
After they took all the cash I had left (100,000 Lira), I followed a German guy on a DT175 through the streets of Innsbruck. He parked his bike in the middle of a deserted intersection and held his middle finger high screaming "F**k Austria!".